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The International Masters Regatta is back - 12 legendary skippers to compete in San Diego

by San Diego Yacht Club 25 Sep 2021 23:22 PDT 21-23 October 2021
International Masters Regatta © Mark Albertazzi

After a year without one of San Diego Yacht Club's most cherished and anticipated regattas, the Club is excited to welcome twelve legendary Master skippers to vie for victory at the 2021 International Masters Regatta. The event to be held from Thursday, October 21 - Saturday, October 23 will feature three days of competition on San Diego Bay from some very well-known names in sailing. Skippers will be joining us in Southern California from all over the globe: New York, New Zealand, Toronto, Washington, and California.

This year's skipper's roster includes: Bill Campbell (2017 Winner), Tad Lacey, Donald Jesberg, Carl Buchan, Bill Menninger (2016 Winner), Scott Harris, Andy Roy (2019 Winner), Rod Davis, Alan Field, Craig Healy, Phil Lotz and David Gould.

Defending champion from the last running of the event in 2019 is skipper Andy Roy. The team in red brought their fierce competition south with them two years ago and showed the US teams quite the fight (with a smile and camaraderie, of course...they are Canadian)!

"We wanted to come back mainly because we absolutely love the event. SDYC puts on a first-class event, with great and friendly competition plus superb hospitality. We'd also like to try and defend our 2019 win. I'm lucky to have a crew who race J/105s regularly in Toronto. That's obviously a big factor as I've only sailed the boat twice, both times at the International Masters Regatta," said Roy.

Rejoining the fleet from the 2019 running are skippers Tad Lacey, Bill Menninger, David Gould and Scott Harris. However, others have had their fun in the J/105s in the past, such as Donald Jesberg who sailed in 2019's event with Tad Lacey. Now, Lacey has become the competition.

"I've sailed on Tad Lacey's team for the past three runnings. I mostly sail Etchells, but just raced as tactician in the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup for San Francisco Yacht Club with skipper Shawn Bennett. The format of this race is great with short races that are all very equal. I'm looking forward to seeing old long-time friends," said Jesberg.

Jesberg and Bennett finished mid-fleet in 9th place at the Rolex NYYC Invitational this September. Bennett will now be Jesberg's tactician for the 2021 Masters Regatta.

Carl Buchan, a 2021 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee, is also new to skippering the event, but has crewed for his father in two Masters Regattas in previous years and is not short of experience. Buchan has earned many World Championship, National Championship and North American Championship titles while also having crewed for Jonathan McKee in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics winning the Gold Medal in the Flying Dutchman Class.

Buchan says he has put together a crew that's ready to win which includes his wife Carol Buchan. "I'm excited to sail with the fun team that we have out of SDYC which is always one of my favorites. My wife Carol and I have sailed and raced together for longer than our marriage, 42 years. She also sailed with my Dad in the Masters twice," said Buchan.

Among the rookies are skippers who are sailing with a title already under their belt from previous years. Bill Menninger, winner of the 2016 International Masters Regatta, says his strategy for this event is to come to San Diego and have fun. "I decided to give a friend of mine from UCI the responsibility to assemble the crew. I plan to practice the day before if we can get everyone there, and have fun," started Menninger. "I have always admired the low practice, good result sailing. The people who could do the most with the least are my heroes. Not because of laziness, but because there are so many other things to do in life...and that practice thing is kind of boring as well," he joked.

Bill Campbell also joins him on the podium of prior winners. Not only did Campbell win the regatta in 2017, but was also on Malin Burnham's winning team in 2015. Campbell explains what makes the International Masters Regatta stand out. "The regatta is unique in that it is a truly international regatta inviting sailors from all around the world. It is also unique in the age requirement getting a bunch of old men and women out on the race course for the fun and games. The racing is close and intense, but left on the race course and we all enjoy each other's company at the post race activities and parties."

Campbell is a three-time America's Cup sailor who was also part of Bill Koch's team that won the Cup in 1992.

It's no surprise that this regatta is going to be full of talent and there is guessing the placements on the final scoresheet.

Craig Healy comes to us with experience from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia in Solings. Rod Davis holds an Olympic Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in L.A., a Silver Medal at the Games in Barcelona, sailed in the 1996 Games in Atlanta and sailed in the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Scott Harris was involved in a very successful Farr 40 program on Crocodile Rock and has been actively sailing J/125 Snoopy. Phil Lotz has competed in J/105s, Melges 32s, Etchells, Viper 640s and IC37s, along with winning two National Championships on his Swan 42, Arethusa, and winning the inaugural Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

David Gould comes with plenty of Masters experience with this regatta being his third in a row. Alan Field is known for his success in the Melges 24, coming second in the 2018 World Championship and first in many North American Championships.

Races will begin on Thursday, October 21. Skippers, crews, SDYC members and guests can enjoy the kick-off celebration on Thursday evening and the annual Taste of Point Loma, where they can taste food and drink from the finest local establishments.

After the races on Friday, sailors can enjoy a dockside social featuring a tasting station from Old Harbor Distilling and snacks provided by Chipz Happen. Racing will conclude on Saturday, after which teams, families and guests will partake in the traditional Saturday Night Banquet, doubling as the Awards Ceremony.

San Diego Yacht Club Commodore Morton welcomes our skippers. "SDYC is honored to have such legendary sailors come to compete at our Club. The Invitational International Masters Regatta was established in the late 1970s by St. Francis Yacht Club member Don Trask and for years, the world's greatest Master sailors raced in this international sailing competition in San Francisco Bay. Now, the event is relocated to San Diego, and we're proud to host it."

Bring out your vessels on San Diego Bay to watch the races in person or follow the results online here.

Thank you to all of the J/105 owners who chartered their boats this year in support of the regatta.

NoR available here.

For more information visit sdyc.org/masters.

Past Winners:

YearWinnerHome Yacht Club
2021TBD‑‑
2020No Race‑‑
2019Andy Roy‑Royal Canadian Yacht Club
2018Dave PerryPequot Yacht Club
2017Bill CampbellSan Diego Yacht Club
2016Bill MenningerNewport Harbor Yacht Club
2015Malin BurnhamSan Diego Yacht Club
2014Augie DiazCoral Reef Yacht Club
2013Chuck NicholsSan Diego Yacht Club
2012Dennis CaseSan Diego Yacht Club
2011Not Raced‑‑
2010Not Raced‑‑
2009Not Raced‑‑
2008John KilroySt. Francis Yacht Club
2007John JenningsSt. Petersburg Yacht Club
2006George HinmanNew York Yacht Club
2005Malin BurnhamSan Diego Yacht Club
2004John JenningsSt. Petersburg Yacht Club
2003Malin BurnhamSan Diego Yacht Club
2002John JenningsSt. Petersburg Yacht Club
2001John JenningsSt. Petersburg Yacht Club
2000Malin BurnhamSan Diego Yacht Club
1999Bruce MunroSt. Francis Yacht Club
1998Dick DeaverLos Angeles Yacht Club
1997Stuart JardineRoyal Lymington Yacht Club
1996Stuart JardineRoyal Lymington Yacht Club
1995Stuart JardineRoyal Lymington Yacht Club
1994John ScarboroughSan Francisco Yacht Club
1993Don TraskSt. Francis Yacht Club
1992Jim DeWittSt. Francis Yacht Club
1991John ScarboroughSan Francisc Yacht Club
1990Don TraskSt. Francis Yacht Club
1989Don TraskSt. Francis Yacht Club
1988Cy GilletteKaneohe Bay Yacht Club
1987Alan ClarkRichmond Yacht Club
1986Charlie DoleWaikiki Yacht Club
1985Charlie DoleWaikiki Yacht Club
1984Ash BownSan Diego Yacht Club
1983Roger EldridgeSan Francisco Yacht Club
1982Alan ClarkRichmond Yacht Club
1981Cy GilletteKaneohe Bay Yacht Club
1980Alan ClarkRichmond Yacht Club
1979Alan ClarkRichmond Yacht Club

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